Airborne Toxin - Review

Aug 25, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  


In a time when mountain bikes with prices reaching into the five figure realm are becoming more and more common, Airborne Bicycles has chosen to take a different route, offering consumer direct sales of bikes that are spec'd to offer the highest value to performance ratio possible. The Toxin, Airborne's 7” freeride / park bike retails for only $1750, a very low price, especially considering that there are suspension forks on the market that cost more than that. Value pricing is all well and good, but how does a budget freeride bike handle on the trail? To find out, we headed to the Whistler Bike Park to put the Toxin to the test.


Airborne Toxin Details

• Intended use: DH / Freeride
• Wheel size: 26"
• Rear wheel travel: 7"
• Aluminum frame
• RockShox Domain fork
• RockShox Kage shock
• Sizes: S, M, L
• Weight: 38.75 lb (size L)
• MSRP: $1749.95 USD


Frame and Suspension Design

Despite its wallet-friendly price, the Toxin still has many of the same features you'd find on much costlier bikes, including a tapered head tube, a 12x142 rear thru-axle, and even a PressFit GXP bottom bracket, one more sign that the demise of the external, threaded bottom bracket is unfortunately approaching faster than ever. A closer look at the 6061 aluminum frame does reveal that the welds aren't quite as clean as what you'd typically find on higher end bikes, which doesn't necessarily mean they're not as strong, but there a few sections where the term 'stack of dimes' would be a stretch. The housing for the rear derailleur and rear brake housing is routed underneath the downtube, a configuration some riders frown upon, but one that we've had very little trouble with.

Airborne Toxin review
  The Toxin uses a link driven single pivot suspension design, with a short link that extends from the seat stays driving the red link, which in turn activates the rear shock.

As far as the Toxin's geometry goes, with a 65° head angle, 427mm chain stays, and a 444mm reach for a size large, the numbers fall right in line with what we've been seeing lately on enduro race bikes, although those bikes typically have 27.5" wheels, and with a weight of nearly 39 pounds, the Toxin is definitely intended for going downhill with as little pedaling as possible, placing it decidedly into the freeride side of things. The Toxin relies on a linkage activated single pivot design for its 7” of travel, with one link mounted above the bottom bracket that is driven by another short link mounted to the seat stays. A 180mm, coil sprung RockShox Domain takes care of the front suspension, while a RockShox Kage R handles the rear.



Specifications
Price $1749.95
Travel 7"
Rear Shock RockShox Kage R
Fork RockShox Domain 180mm, Single Crown
Headset Ahead Sealed Cartridge 1 1/8" to 1.5" tapered
Cassette SRAM PG-830 11x32 9-Speed Cassette
Crankarms MotoX with 34T chainring 165mm w/Bashguard
Pedals KORE Aluminum Platforms
Chain KMC X-9
Rear Derailleur SRAM X5 Mid Cage
Shifter Pods SRAM X5 Trigger 9-Speed
Handlebar KORE Torsion 6061 35mm rise, 800mm wide, 31.8mm diameter
Stem KORE B18 31.8mm Clamp Dial, 50mm Length
Brakes Avid Elixir 3
Hubs KT HiFlange 32H
Spokes White 14g Stainless
Rim Alex FR 32, 32H, DH disc rim
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5
Seat e KORE Enduro saddle with standard rail
Seatpost KORE Twin bolt seat post 30.9, 350mm 6061
Airborne Toxin review



bigquotesThat's the key to enjoying the Toxin - finding the areas that it excels in, and realizing that while it may not provide as smooth and refined of a ride as more expensive bikes, it'll still get the job done.

Whistler is a mountain biker's Disneyland, but I'll admit to feeling a little nervous about tackling the bike park aboard the Toxin. It wasn't that I didn't think the bike could handle it, I just didn't want to end up like the kid at the amusement park who gets stuck on the bumper car that refuses to budge, or gets relegated to riding the spinning tea cups while everyone else heads off to the roller-coasters. As it turned out, most of my worries were unfounded, and A-Line and Dirt Merchant, Whistler's classic jump trails were no problem aboard the Toxin. Those trails are filled with plenty of features to get accustomed to a bike's handling in the air – hips, stepdowns, step-ups and big floaty tabletops await around every bermed corner, and the Toxin was able to take them all on without issue. Despite its portly weight, the bike jumps well, and felt predictable and stable during takeoff, in the air, and when touching back down to earth. The lack of a clutch type derailleur does mean it's a little noisier when rolling through the braking bumps, but the chain guide helps to reduce the amount of chain slap and drivetrain noise.

However, when things got steep and technical it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, and the limits of the Toxin's parts spec began to shine through. The two piston Avid Elixir 3 brakes, while fine on the smoother and flatter trails, don't have enough power to instill confidence when the trail angle steepens and the difficulty factor increases. The suspension has its limits as well, and with only a few possible adjustments, there's only so much you can do to improve the ride of the bike. The Domain fork and Kage shock are fairly rudimentary, and short of changing the rebound or the spring rate there are no other alterations that can be made – the high and low speed compression are pre-set from the factory. This lack of adjustability meant that venturing off the beaten path led to a few 'interesting' moments, as I found out when I headed down a short, tricky section of trail located just off of a popular warm up run in the lower section of the bike park. Although short, riding down this trail is like riding down a flight of stairs, if each step was three feet tall and covered with roots. Things started out fine, but the multiple impacts in a row combined with the steepness of the trail soon had me feeling like I was aboard a runaway train, and I started trying to figure out which tree would best cushion my fall. Luckily, I somehow managed to ride it out, but it was an illustration of the Toxin's limits – the bike doesn't have the high powered brakes and refined suspension that would have allowed me to cruise down this portion of trail with ease.

Airborne Toxin review
  The Toxin was happiest on smoother, jump and berm filled trails.

What exactly is it that makes a base model fork or rear shock ride differently than the higher priced offerings? It's how the suspension feels as it goes through its travel, with the more adjustable suspension components making it possible to have a softer initial portion of the stroke, a more supportive middle section, and enough ramp up at the end to prevent harsh bottom outs. This isn't possible with the Domain and the Kage found on the Toxin, and they both have a 'springy', undamped feel, with not much difference between the beginning, middle, and end of the stroke. Since there's only a basic rebound damper and a spring doing all of the work, it's not surprising that they feel this way, but it is one of the factors that affects the bike's performance the most, and gives the Toxin a harsher ride when it's ridden through really rough terrain.

The bike's geometry felt familiar enough that I consistently found myself heading into technical sections of trail without a second thought, but sections that required extended braking or were full of chunky roots and rocks would remind me that I couldn't let it all hang out. Still, I was able to successfully navigate the tricky bits of trail in Whistler's Garbanzo zone, and as long as I managed my expectations it was smooth sailing. That's the key to enjoying the Toxin – finding the areas that it excels in, and realizing that while it may not provide as smooth and refined of a ride as more expensive bikes, it'll still get the job done. Its trail manners are closer to that of a sturdy all-mountain bike than a downhill machine, but that will likely help riders who haven't ridden a downhill bike feel right at home.


Component Check

Shopping for a new downhill bike can be a confusing process, and at the higher end of the scale it's harder to differentiate the subtle nuances between one bike and another. With a bike like the Toxin, it's a little easier to see where the cost savings come from, although it's still pretty amazing that the entire bike can be had for less than $2000.

• KORE aluminum platform pedals: While it's nice that the Toxin's price includes pedals, the ones that come on it look like they're straight out of the late '90s, and are three times a thick as most modern offerings. This extra height means more pedal vs. ground encounters, as well as an increased likelihood of the pedals rolling underfoot.

• Grips: The grips aren't lock-ons, and they're extremely thick – they feel as big around as a soda can, which may work for some riders, but I'd spend the money to swap these out for a set of thinner lock-ons before hitting the trails.

Airborne Toxin review
  The brakes and suspension weren't quite up to the task on the more technical trails, but it was nice to see a chain guide in place on a bike at this price.

• KORE Torsion Bar and B18 stem: We've had $8,000 enduro bikes show up with 80mm stems and 711mm bars, so it's nice to see that Airborne made the right decision by speccing the Toxin with a 50mm stem and 800mm wide bars.

• Maxxis Minion DHF tires: Tires aren't a place to skimp, and luckily Airborne has shod the Toxin with one of the best tread patterns around, a set of 2.5” Minion DHF tires. They might not be the higher end, EXO casing, triple compound models, but the tread pattern is still the same, and it's an excellent choice for the bike.



Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesFor the rider who's looking to test the waters of mountain biking's gravity fed side, but isn't quite ready to dive all the way in, the Toxin could be a good first step, although it probably won't take long before those lighter weight steeds with more tunable suspension and better components start looking mighty tempting. It's worth mentioning that while Airborne's consumer direct business model does allow the Toxin to come in at a very low pricepoint, you won't have the same level of personalized support that a good local bike shop can provide. For some riders this isn't an issue, but others take comfort knowing they can get the service they need just down the road, rather than emailing or phoning someone they've never met before. There's no denying that mountain biking is an expensive sport, so if purchasing the Toxin enables you to have more money left over to take a road trip to the bike park, or be able to ride more and work less, then by all means, go for it. - Mike Kazimer


www.airbornebicycles.com


188 Comments

  • 121 1
 The market...the DH/shuttle side of our sport...needs a few $2000 or less entry level 7-8" travel bikes. There are great buys in the say, $25-3500 range and are absolutely worth the extra hundreds up front...but a retail price tag of sub 2G's is important to get some new riders going who might not otherwise. Any percentage of those initial buyers who then upgrade parts or completely are good for the sport!
  • 29 19
 Second hand? For under 2k you can buy an old IH Sunday, whack in some angleset and you're set.
  • 117 0
 Some new riders just won't have the experience to tackle the second hand market...
  • 19 6
 Second hand is where its at for a beginner. I bought second hand bikes until i was seriously into the sport. When i started to break things and realise that it was my primary passion then i started purchasing from the lbs for to get warranty.
  • 6 0
 Hammm has a point, my first and so far only DH bike, a 2009 Commençal Furious, was built up of mostly second hand parts from the BuySell section in this website for sub £600/$994USD/$1067AUD, and it was a very easy experience, all the people that I came into contact with were very helpful, all of which were fellow bike enthusiasts glad to see a new person getting into the sport
  • 3 2
 @bonkywonky Thats what i did, got a second hand IronHorse Sunday for £800 and its served me really well, and will probably last longer than a more budget new bike
  • 11 2
 I do get the point that people think that mountain biking (particularly downhill) is an expensive sport. It is. However, you can get great bikes second hand for under $2000AUD, even get steals in the 1000 - 1500 region. You just won't be on the latest and greatest #endurospecific rig. That will last you three years or so if you take good care of it. How much is a gym membership, soccer registration and related equipment etc for three years?

I work in a bike shop - when the groms come in with their money for a new downhill sled (because it seams that every 15 year old rides downhill haha) i always ask them if they have extra money saved up for when they rip their derailleur off, blow their seals, smash a lever/shifter or shred a tyre and spare cache for tubes.
  • 3 1
 loopie - That's what mates/ forums are for.

Jake - friend of mine started did the same, tried his a couple of weeks ago and it can really hold its own between newer bikes. I still think the Sunday is one of the best handling bikes around to be honest.
  • 5 1
 Why can't I edit my post?
  • 13 3
 Who says it had to be a Sunday, at the end of the season last year i picked up a 2011 tr450 for 1500 bucks. The only thing ive changed is the brakes but they were avids so what do you expect.
  • 4 1
 Hammm, that's a great point about groms having extra money saved for stuff like that, I took advice from my dad and had kept enough to replace and service most parts on my bike. Unfortunately in a recent crash I totalled a wheel, my rear shock and dented my frame on my few month old Kona process bought from a bike shop (ex demo) I've talked to some people and they think the dent is structurally damaging to the frame and the frames lifetime warranty doesn't cover crash damage :/ My dad doesn't think the shop year long warranty does either. Should of kept more in reserve I guess
  • 8 0
 I completely agree with you loopie... Someone who would be interested in this bike may not be well versed in what's out there on the used market. Not to mention, they may not feel comfortable buying something used in general, at the very least we all know someone who has been ripped off. Hell I've even had 1 bad experience here on PB, and I've been buying/selling here for years.

I think it's important to have a quality bike offering for 2k or less. The industry still makes money... a bike like this is meant to be bought and upgraded as you've got the money. Buy the bike in year 1, buy a nice fork in year 2, get a new shock and brakes year 3, etc.

Just like a poor man's sports car (like the mustang or camero), it's meant to be attainable on the cheap, and easily upgradable. It's a bike for the working class who might not have a hook up at a bike shop. I assume most of us here have that, having worked at a shop or knowing many who do. Not everyone is lucky enough to have that kind of contact within the industry.
  • 3 0
 Which is why it's important to bring someone who knows his stuff. PB isn't the best place to buy stuff anyway, I've been nearly ripped off 3 times on here while I've bought way more from Bikemarkt without one bad experience..
  • 3 1
 I just piked up a used santa cruz vp free for $800. I like it more than my new $4k enduro ride that I spent all las winter building up.
  • 6 0
 I think with errybody jumpin on the 27.b enduro walking craze we owe it to ourselves to cop not one but a few of the nice used 26er dh bikes that are being liquidated by people shoveling out cash to stay on the crest of the spending curve.
  • 5 1
 Specialized Status, Scott Voltage.
  • 11 7
 bacon
  • 10 0
 I'm with phobospwns, I'd get a new, cheap, upgrade platform before I'd buy used in many cases.... ESPECIALLY with DH and park bikes, since they get thrashed hard. I don't know where you guys are seeing all these amazing steals on PB/craigslist/whatever for under $2k. Sure those deals happen occasionally but you have to wait around for one in the right size and with a spec you like, and then hope it's not all clapped to shit when you go check it out in person. Yeah there are tons of DH bikes on PB and CL, but there's a high probability that the repairs will cost you near the difference between that and a new bargain bike, and honestly a lot of the low-end hardware today is pretty good for day-to-day riding. I love playing the used parts game in XC and road where stuff isn't beat to shit all the time, but it gets way harder and riskier in the longer-travel disciplines.
  • 2 1
 About second hand bikes; if you can't get the seller to let you have a lbs look over the bike, it's not worth buying.
  • 2 1
 You can't go wrong with a Sunday. Still one of the best frames ever made. Copied by countless company's for a good reason. Totally bomb proof. Stick and angle set in and it's bang up to date. Pick frames up for £400.
  • 2 0
 bkm303 - pretty easy to bring a set of spanners and check every part of the linkage for wear and ovalisation, as well as bearing condition. I've bought most frames and parts second hand and have never been ripped off in all those 13 years.
  • 8 0
 Who neg props bacon??
  • 2 3
 ya really guys?!
  • 4 0
 I agree you can get some great deals second hand. I sold my 2010 Cove Shocker to a young grommy for like $1500. He was stoked. Codes, X9 drivetrain, DHX5, 40's, zee cranks. Some parts were getting worn, and he did ask for me to get it checked over at a bike shop (the guy at the shop offered me $1800 on the spot... Would've broken the young fella's heart if I took that deal...) and there was no issues.

Moral of the story?

Be the deals you want to see in the world.
  • 1 0
 I like buying used but if you are not familiar with what is out there it could be really intimidating. I think it is awesome that some bike companies offer bikes like this...my only suggestion would be to offer upgrades on big item like shock/forks b/c no one is buying a used domain so the person who wants to step it up later is left holding the undesirable parts.
  • 2 0
 Dude in a few years this bike will be super cheap used.
  • 1 1
 XCMark is completely right.
  • 33 5
 If airborne can do this for 1750, why do manufactures feel the need to sell mountain bikes that cost more than motorcycles? The technology jump from this airborne to a new nomad still isn't so great in my opinion to warrant that huge price increase. Just food for thought.
  • 22 4
 because some idiot buys them for retail and they earn money
  • 41 11
 Because the Toxin's performance level, compared to a 10k Nomad, is like comparing a Yamaha TT-R 230 to Ryan Villipoto's Kawasaki KX 450 F.
  • 4 5
 I see what hes saying, when it comes down to it they all have the same parts and, rd time, but the bikes cost as much or more and don't even have the added cost of a motor.
  • 34 6
 "Because the Toxin's performance level, compared to a 10k Nomad, is like comparing a Yamaha TT-R 230 to Ryan Villipoto's Kawasaki KX 450 F."

Hmmm but it's not really the same thing at all is it? Give this bike to any rider and allow him time to adjust and he will probably set a time within a couple of seconds of his best time on a top of the line Santa Cruz. There is a reason some of the best riders were winning on lumps of shit in the lower categories when they were young and that is because Mtb is 98% about the rider and not the bike. Particularly when people are starting out and don't know how to set up a bike or even ride it properly. A moto is much more equipment dependent.

You see people buy new bikes all the time and their performance only marginally improves if at all. And I'll bet most of the performance boost is psychological.
  • 8 17
flag TFBikes (Aug 25, 2014 at 6:33) (Below Threshold)
 So you would be willing to trade your current ride for a 20 year old mountain bike, because there is only a 2% max gain in performance between the two?
  • 13 3
 Oh so we are talking about 20 year old bikes now are we? I was under the impression we were talking about brand new bikes here with minimal differences in r&d , materials and production costs.
  • 25 4
 TBH, the last 5k on a Nomad buy you nothing but prestige. Give the Toxin some proper suspension parts and some nice brakes, and you'll get rid of the nasty bits in it's characteristics. Then you have a ~2200$ Bike offering 90% of the 8k Bike's performance...

Truth is, we MTBers are some spoiled brats. We're not happy unless we've got the latest and greatest, no matter the cost.
  • 8 10
 Its not like the nomad is made from carbon or anything, and has a much, much more expensive r&d cost behind it to get the correct layup.

Oh wait, I forgot you knew nothing about the cost of making frames.
  • 6 0
 Kainem has a point. My Kona Operator came with the same suspension spec ... $150 later for a brand new World Cup Air and $250 for a mint Domain RC, it's now a 100% better ride.
  • 5 3
 I was talking about an entry level mtb and comparing it a factory level bike, then pointing out that if you want to compare prices of a factory level mtb to a dirt bike, you need to compare it to a factory level dirt bike, one with top of the line everything, just like the factory mtb is top of the line everything.
  • 11 7
 Ultimately it's because airborne has no r&d department. It's a catalogue bike like you'd get from bikes direct. They have zero invested in engineering. They go through a catalogue from one of the Taiwanese manufacturers and say put airborne on the downtube. Spec some cheaper parts and bang, you have a bike. That by no means makes it junk, it's just how they can offer a bike cheap. No engineers working for airborne. No testers. Ask them any tech questions about the suspension design or what the linkage ratio is and they'd have to go look it up.

You can't compare a mail order company to Santa Cruz or others. Airborne isn't building prototypes and having their guys ride them and refine them before going into production. They are buying a proven older design. That's it. That's why it's cheap. Zero investment. But it's a good thing because it can get people into the sport who may have initially been put off by high prices. Not many people who buy one will buy a second airborne.
  • 7 1
 That's not entirely correct. Airborne does do its own designs on most of its models. All of its hardtails are engineered, tested, and ridden by employees and riders. The FS frames are co-designed with other reputable frame makers, and ridden/tested/tweaked by Airborne employees. So its not like Bikes Direct. If you got someone in Customer Service who had to look up a ratio because they didn't have it memorized, that doesn't mean they don't know what they are doing.
  • 2 0
 @tifo, so airborne is having prototypes of their bikes fabricated for testing? who does the prototypes? any in house manufacturing at all? companies like yeti and santa cruz still have in house proto shops and can build and refine their prototypes before sending final specs to taiwan for production models. Is that what airborne does?
  • 6 2
 @Terrafire: but it is not as if the Carbon construction offers a huge benefit. Yes, it saves a few hundred grams. But it also makes the frames much, much more expensive and more fragile. I recently built myself an "Enduro" for ~3k with decent spec, weighing in at 30lbs for a 150/170 mm frame and 160 mm fork... that is about the cost for just the Nomad frame. I really don't see the point of spending thrice that to save 3-4 lbs... And that is the point: we've reached ridculous levels in terms of pricing. Even 3k is a ton of money for a bicycle, let alone some 8-10k for a top specced build... no matter the tech, it is just a lot of money and we are willingly spending it.
  • 5 0
 Airborne's frame builder builds its prototypes for them and changes them with employee input. In the case of the Toxin, Airborne worked with the frame manufacturer to improve the rear triangle for stiffness and clearance, and went thru 4 versions of ride testing and machine testing before final production.
  • 2 1
 @tife. what is your affiliation with airborne?
  • 3 3
 @kainerm If you think that building frames in carbon has little effect on the strength of the frame and doesn't save a noticeable about of weight, I'll have to direct you to this santa cruz testing video. If you can watch this and tell me there is no reason to ride carbon, I'll have to brand you a liar.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xreZdUBqpJs
  • 3 0
 weight loss on DH carbon bikes isn't as significant as weight loss in xc/road bikes
  • 5 0
 @Terrafire - F1 cars are built out of carbon and have incredible strength in particular directions but are as brittle as paper in others. If stress comes on carbon from an angle it isnt designed for it will break it very easily which is why F1 cars shatter into irreparable fragments upon impact. That is why carbon bikes are also succeptable to crash damage as the point of impact is unpredictable. The testing video proves that aluminium is weaker in a controlled environment in test conditions. So if you have the exact type of crash they test for then carbon offers a benefit. If on the other hand you lose control of the bike and it lands on a very sharp rock at a sharp angle (an accident that is much more probable) it can punch a hole in the frame.

I like carbon and i am all for it but a) 99% of riders dont need it b) it makes a barely noticeable difference to times even to an elite/professional rider c) why are we talking about carbon when there are plenty of expensive Aluminium bikes out there too? Feck it there are even more expensive materials out there that offer benefits to riders, why not make bikes out of them?

If this conversation was happening in athletics it would sound ridiculous. A pair of high quality $400 running shoes might help Usain Bolt run the 100m in 9.75 as opposed to 9.85 which could be the difference between 1st and 2nd. Put those same runners on Billy Slow over there and he might go from running 15.5 to...15.49. He's still going to be fecking slow as his technique is still shit. And i bet the cost of producing a $400 pair of runners isnt that much more than a $40 pair either.
  • 2 0
 Amen to that
  • 2 3
 Yes. Carbon is not necessary for people who don't push the limits. What I'm saying, is that yes, it has a tangible benefit. You can talk about F1 all you want, but at the end of the day, Carbon is stronger than aluminum in the literal sense of the world strong. If you shuttle your bike every day: no, don't get carbon. If you want to shave hundreds of grams off your ride, do it. Pinkbike can complain about cost of carbon, wheel size, and the UCI all they want, but as someone who works with carbon, I will tell you that it is superior to aluminum in most situations.
  • 7 0
 @qbert2000, you are not correct my friend. I am a professional racer for airborne bicycles. They do have testers, I would be one of them. I put the bikes thru absolute torture to make sure they can survive before they go into production. Airborne has a lot more research and design into the bikes than you would think. Some bikes have been in testing over three years to be sure to get it absolutely perfect to what is desired before release. Not a catalogue company like you may think. I enjoy riding for Airborne, solid bikes and a solid group of dudes that all focus on doing everything they can to help all of you guys out.
  • 3 0
 Comparing pushbikes to moto is ridiculous on all levels; it's like comparing apples with oranges. MTB frames and components are not produced in the same quantities that moto parts are, so there are less sales and therefore less net revenue and hence less of a total pool to pay the employees. If more bikes sold, there would be more money to pay the designers/support staff/corporate, and all things right in the world, prices should reduce. This is a good reason to produce more bikes like this one so newbies don’t get put off by the pricing and get into the sport.
  • 5 1
 So aside from the aforementioned point, why do bikes cost so much? Do bike frame engineers get overpaid for a relatively simple piece of equipment? I don't know. Do manufacturers (especially the big companies) put too much money into marketing and by association athlete support? Maybe. There is far too much 'competition' in the bike industry which doesn't actually compete. I’m probably going to get neg propped for this, but I think that for the average consumer (which makes up the bulk of MTB sales) the overall performance difference between frames from different brands is negligible, and only perceived. Sure, there are firm pedal platform designs and very active designs, but at the end of the day you'll adapt to the advantages and disadvantages of the design and no doubt have fun. There is so much focus on a bike giving you a competitive advantage when really… unless you’re really close or at exactly the same riding level as someone else, which on a day by day basis is rarely the case, do you need the advantage? Or would a bit of focused training work better? Additionally, somehow, we as the basic consumers are steered away from the fact that there are so many different bikes in the top 20 world cup rounds, all of which are claimed to perform radically differently and give you an edge. But in reality, all the riders have their suspension tuned to suit the track conditions. Maybe a bit of focus into setting up the bike correctly and generally buying the right size, and right tool for the job will give more of an advantage than forking out 10k+ for a new bike. I guess where I’m heading with this post is that the bike industry can only point us in a certain direction (and also be very persuasive), but at the end of the day, we as the consumers dictate what happens, we just need to think for ourselves.
  • 3 0
 But that would require people owning up to the fact that they arent actually very good an their bike isnt the reason for that...
  • 2 1
 So if carbon is so much stronger than aluminum why won't specialized let the coastal crew or darren ride carbon bikes, because they know they would smash after the first couple wipeouts and if they arent pushing boundaries enough to "need carbon" who is?
  • 1 0
 If they preferred carbon they would ride it.
  • 21 0
 If it wasn't for my old Airborne Marauder I'm not sure if I'd have ever discovered my passion for mountain biking. Huge props to Airborne for making affordable bikes that aren't complete junk to allow people to get into the sport. Just another possitive step forward to spreading the fun of mountain biking!
  • 24 5
 This article is fine, and I appreciate the budget review. What bothers me is yet another useless LBS-related "consideration".

"It's worth mentioning that while Airborne's consumer direct business model does allow the Toxin to come in at a very low pricepoint, you won't have the same level of personalized support that a good local bike shop can provide. For some riders this isn't an issue, but others take comfort knowing they can get the service they need just down the road, rather than emailing or phoning someone they've never met before."

Is it REALLY worth mentioning that? I have learned a lot about bikes, service, etc on Pinkbike, the web and from people I have met on the hill and now feel comfortable servicing my own bike... and before that, GOOGLE. If someone is buying direct from online, they should be well aware of the fact that their LBS will not likely provide free advice and service. The money saved in buying direct should more than cover any minor maintenance required from their LBS.

This rant is not because I dislike my LBS, in fact, I like them very much. I am just bothered by the constant bombardment with respect to LBS'. E.g. needing to run to my LBS for every little question I have, or paying MSRP because that is the right thing to do, etc.

Thanks for the review. Leave it at that.

-A
  • 8 2
 Completely agree, and let me add to that. A *good* local bike shop should give you the same level of support regardless of where you bought your bike. It won't be free of course, but even if I buy my bike at my LBS, I only expect a year or so of free service anyway. I'm sure any good bike shop would be happy to have your business servicing your bike, as the profit from service is always going to be higher than the markup on the sale of new bikes.
  • 5 1
 I think its a fair point to mention especially concidering that this bike is likely going to be purchased by someone with little bike knoweledge. It's a pretty small plug that pinkbike threw in but I think an important concideration for someone new to the sport. The internet is a great resource for tech info but working on your own bike can be pretty overwhelming for someone who hasn't ever dealt with it. I may be bias as I work in a shop but I still feel the LBS has a valuable place in the sport. I get online shopping and cant really knock anyone for it, but I have deffinitely seen a few of our customers get screwed in their online shopoping experience.
  • 3 1
 @ lestock-kay

I definitely see your point, and like I said, I do like my LBS. My (anecdotal) experience has just been that the LBS is pushed at every opportunity possible, without question about the relevance or what impact it has on the sport, e.g. accessibility to new participants, entrants, or self-education.
  • 2 1
 As someone who used to work at a bike shop, we would field at least 3 queries a week about warranty work on a bike ordered off the internet. Of course, the type of people that blindly jump into a sport they know nothing about probably won't be reading reviews and researching their purchase first, so the lbs comments still don't matter...but it's amazing what obvious things people are oblivious to.
  • 2 2
 It's not about being able to get your bike tuned-up, it's about providing an easy access to customer service. Every shop that is a dealer for X brand of bikes is also acting as a customer service agent for that company. They have a vested interest in helping you out with that bike, they have much better connections with that company so they can get you replacement parts much faster, and those are the bikes they are likely most used to working on, so proprietary components and other little problems are already known and easier to treat. Additionally, dealers usually have some agreement with the manufacturer where they will have to fix your bike for free is it breaks, where the manufacturer actually pays the labor costs to the shop. If you bring in a bike they aren't a dealer for, it will take longer to get replacement parts, communication can be very poor, stuff just becomes a much bigger hassle for the bike shop to deal with, and that can mean more expense on the customer.

It's nice that Airborne will sell direct, but I'd still rather not have to wait 2+ weeks for shipping anytime a part breaks to get it replaced, and then pay a bunch of money to the LBS to put the bike back together because they get no benefits from helping that manufacturer out.
  • 2 0
 @ MTBLengend92

I take your point and I am happy to hear that you are able to find faster, cheaper and better service when you purchase from your LBS. As I said twice before, I like my LBS and I think they play a critical role in helping the sport in my community (I do in fact buy from them quite often, especially when price is competitive and I want to "see the part/item" before purchase e.g. pedals, tires, protection). Unfortunately, I can't say that speed or price advantage is something I have have personally experienced.
  • 3 1
 @MTBLegend92: Airborne will work with a shop to get the bike fixed if something is jacked up and its under warranty. Airborne uses name brand parts like SRAM, etc just for that very reason. And if its an Airborne frame, then a replacement can be sent out. Any hassle or slowness is going to be on the part of the shop you have it in, and that's more than likely to happen no matter what the brand is that needs work, whether they sell it or not. The good shops will work on a bike with warranty issues and get paid, the bad shops will treat it as a hassle and take it as an opportunity to bad-mouth internet and mail-order purchases.
  • 1 0
 So Airborne pays the shop to do the warranty work on the defective bike? If so, good, that's good customer service. A lot of companies won't do that, especially if the shop doesn't have a dealer account with them. They'll probably send the replacement part, sure, but it's up to the customer to get it actually swapped out on their own dime and time.

The way you view something and the way you treat it can be two very different things. For example, I think running tubulars, especially outside of track racing, is a terrible idea. It's a lot more work for a small potential payoff, and a larger risk of failure. But if you as a customer understand the pros and cons and want to ride on tubulars, I'm more than happy to glue them up for them. A bike shop, like any company, should act to best further its own interests, which means creating happy customers. If I'm a dealer for X brand, I know I can make my customers happy riding those bikes because anytime they have a problem, I can probably fix it for them for "free." If you bring me a Y brand bike I don't sell, I'm still going to try to help you and get your bike fixed- you are still my customer and I still want your business, but I can't fix it for free anymore unless the manufacturer is going to reimburse me for my time. People much prefer "Your bike's all tuned up and ready to go, and it's free" to "Your bike's all tuned up and ready to go, and your total is $100"
  • 15 0
 Seems like the major complaints were forks, rear shock and brakes. Forks can be replaced, possibly cheaply on the used market, especially when 26" forks from 2012-2013 are becoming more affordable. Rear shocks are also available aftermarket assuming it's a standard length and stroke. I've heard good things about Deore and zee brakes, too. You could upgrade the weak points on this bike and have a decent bike for a few years until you're ready to invest in something or ride this til the wheels fall off!
  • 10 2
 Why anyone still specs those awful avid brakes on bikes like this is beyond me. I hired a gambler for a few days last year in morzine when my bike broke - it had elixir 1's on it, and they just didn't have anywhere near enough stopping power for a bike like that in big mountains. I know it's to get it down to a price, but at the end of the day, they're just not fit for purpose.
  • 6 0
 You can actually go cheaper than replacing the fork: One of the nice things about the open bath RS forks is that the better dampers from the higher end models are easy, & fairly cheap upgrades.
  • 2 2
 Elixirs are just dirt cheap in the OEM market, and they are light...
  • 8 0
 Perhaps but would Deore's have been that much more expensive ?! If you're going to rely on XC brakes to stop a DH bike, it might as well be shimano brakes.
  • 4 0
 Shimano all the way. My old slx brakes had more stopping power than the elixir 7's on the bike my brother rented the other day. Xo trails are good but super unreliable. I have two sets and both need to be warrantied die to leaking.
  • 8 1
 The whole bike is SRAM. 1) Direct to consumer margins are very small. 2) Smaller companies like Airborne don't place big enough orders from the OEMs to get both great pricing and free choice of components.

The difference in total price on this very same bike w/ Shimano brakes != the difference in price between Shimano brakeset and Avid brakeset. To a product manager sitting at a computer spreadsheet, seeing the MSRP jump even a small amount likely breaks (brakes!) the deal.
  • 6 1
 Which is why people that don't ride bikes shouldn't be in the bike industry. Mr product manager likely has no idea the difference it makes.
Also, why can't avid just make a decent set of budget brakes?
  • 3 0
 Yup. & they also get to play the round number game: psychologically, you're more likely to buy a product that hits a round number price point, or one just below it ($9.99 for example) so if a certain build get's them halfway in between say, $1700 & $1750, they have to decide if cheapening the spec to get down to $1700 is more worthwhile, or if they can improve the spec & stay under $1750, or if that increase in price will decrease sales too much.

& it get's even more complicated from there, especially for non-direct brands. (Retailers want you to build in a decent amount of profit into the final price, so that they can put it on sale & still make money.)
  • 1 0
 above was @Snfoilhat.
  • 12 0
 "Mr. Product Manager" does ride. Everything was done to make this bike hit a particular pricepoint. It's an entry level park bike. There are going to be compromises. If Airborne made it perfect to everyone's liking, with a ton of nice parts, then everyone would biatch about the price being too high. Case in point, when the new Pathogen frameset came out at $1599 everyone complained that it was way too much and stated that the Taka was a much better deal at $1400 when it used to be made. But it was probably those same people that biatched about the Taka being underspec'd. It's a no-win.
  • 4 0
 I bought the Taka from Airborne primarily because of its' price point, but also because the reviews were good for an entry level DH bike (based on the IH Yakuza Kumicho). I would never have gotten into downhill otherwise. Looking at the Pathogen and the Toxin and comparing them to their contemporaries that cost 2x or more, I can't help but love the low cost that Airborne offers these bikes. I'm just an average rider, and a recreational racer, and I've tried other rigs that cost significantly more than the Taka, and (IMO at least) although there was a (not so significant) difference in performance, the fun factor any different. It shouldn't be any different for AB's other offerings. Sure you can other deals by buying used, but brand new, these just can't be beat.

Plus, put a significantly skilled rider on these bikes and they'll wipe out 98% of the worlds population in competition. Case in point, Barry Nobles, and Caroline Buchanan. Both Airborne sponsored riders, and both riding these frames to very good results. Props to Airborne for opening up another avenue for more people to join our sport without the significant financial obstacle.
  • 3 0
 They are, of course, riding real suspension components though. That's the way I read the review: "pretty good bike, but as soon as you get past the raw beginner level, you're going to want a better damped suspension." Perfectly fine to get a decent bike, then throw a few hundred into a new rear shock & the better dampers for the fork.
  • 1 1
 Has Mr. Product Manager ridden this bike? Speccing brakes as poor as this on this type of bike doesn't make sense. Dumb down the suspension, finishing kit etc. - fine. But surely brakes are as much a safety item than anything else? I didn't exactly feel safe using these brakes in the bike park on a heavy bike not too dissimilar to this.
  • 4 0
 Certainly has. The Specialized Status 1 had the exact same brakes for the exact same type of riding. Guess their product manager must suck also? Arm-chair product managing is fun!
  • 1 0
 Now my words are being misinterpreted Wink Just certain decisions don't make a great deal of sense to me. Saving money on brakes is one of them.
  • 13 0
 Here's a video of the Toxin in action @ Whistler - www.pinkbike.com/video/371553
  • 7 0
 Yep, rode it at Whistler completely stock and the biggest place for improvement would be the brakes and suspension. But, on the other side of things I was super impressed at how well it rode stock especially for the price. I recently put a vivid air and totem on mine and the weight dropped to around 36-37lbs and it made the bike even more playful/flickable. With prices like this, its a great buy!
  • 3 0
 Nice riding trebeol
  • 2 0
 sick video! i'd ride the crap out of that bike (especially for the price) currently I have the Pathogen and love it, the Toxin looks like a fun bike to add to the quiver
  • 10 0
 So everyone complains when PB tests a bike that cost $10k because no one can afford it and when they finally test a bike almost anyone can, everyone says don't bother. Buy second hand instead...

I agree with the complaint about the consideration that it's direct order and not supporting your LBS. I want to support my LBS, but when shops mark up prices (either because it's a shop or because all bikes/parts in Canadialand have huge mark up compared to American prices) a ton, I'm ordering online almost every time.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, LBS is losing its appeal as the years go by. They don't treat me nice like they used too. Too bad really, My taste in bikes has come up commensurately with my salary over the years. I'm looking at $4000-6000 bikes this year and no one wants to talk to me about bikes for an hour or test rides. Luckily I found a shop that will order a bike and let me put it on layaway, instead of demanding 100% before they'll even look up their dealer price. I can see this business model working out in the future, especially if their bikes were as nice as YT.
  • 10 2
 "even a PressFit GXP bottom bracket, one more sign that the demise of the external, threaded bottom bracket is unfortunately approaching faster than ever." This statement saddens me very greatly. Irrational re-development and 'improvement' by companies that make it harder for home mechanics like myself to keep up with the ever 'improving' standards really, really grind my gears.
  • 3 3
 Press fit bb's ARE an improvement. We should've been running them since we started running headsets that way, duh. Doing that, however, would not have allowed manufacturers to make the money that they wanted to. Derp. This way they can have more "standards"... derp.
  • 6 2
 I think *creak* there are some *creak* people that *creak* would like to *creak* object to *creak*fit being better...
  • 3 4
 And those creaking people would be the ones who are WRONG.
  • 3 0
 The creaking is easily preventable, you've just gotta set them up right. The proper bearings and assembly are what they need. I've been putting them in Cannondales for years now, under guys putting down massive amounts of torque and riding upwards of 5,000 miles a year. And, when they do need to be replaced, damn is it easy.
  • 1 0
 demise of the external, threaded bottom bracket ? Does anyone really believes this ?
Few months ago people were talking about demise of 26" bikes.
How it happenes, that we are commenting reivew of such a bike now ?!?
  • 2 1
 How hard is it for a home mechanic to make a press? 1 foot of threaded rod and some washers and nuts... presto...press in your own headset or bottom bracket cups. Want it pre-made for you and more professional looking? Park has the HHP3 for about $75-100 as do other brands offer similar. Compared to the specialized tools many "threaded" cups have needed over the years, a press fit assembly is one of the simplest to do correctly... although apparently not for the brain trusts on here...
  • 3 0
 Nobody ever said it was hard and I already have a 'ghetto' press. I'm talking about the simplicity of the threaded vs pressfit and how much easier it is to correctly install a threaded bb and not get creaking! It's easy for someone to say "you've just gotta set them up right" when in reality, somebody who's never laid hands on one before will have to work out how to do just that for themselves.
  • 1 2
 Except the creaking is just as regular an occurence with threaded cups if tolerances are off or assembly is off. Google "creaking bottom bracket" and most results will be for threaded bottom brackets.
  • 2 0
 If tolerances are off you must have either cross-threaded your shell, or have the entirely wrong bottom bracket for the frame. If by chance when you say tolerances are off you mean incorrect torque, this is extremely easily fixed a simple tighten, you don't even have to remove the cranks. Also your last statement totally irrelevant because the amount of threaded bb's that exist exponentially outnumber the pressfit system.
  • 2 0
 @Rubentihw, I'm totally with you in that we shouldn't have to know how to really install the bearings 'right'! They SHOULD be coming from the factory like that, I really believe it's on the manufacturers to be shipping us the product done 'right'. That being said, as a "new" "standard" is being introduced, we're going to be the ones guinea pigging it and dealing with the issues such as more creaking. BB's creak either way though, and threaded ones really, really suck. The bearings are smaller, they're heavier, the threads are easily damaged, they get easily frozen in frames, they're more expensive and the overall time working on them is a least triple that of press-fit bearings. The unfortunate part for now is that we're mostly at the hands of the bike industry to do things 'right'. It'll happen, it just might take some time. Quality bearings, proper install with a good chunk of heavier grease (gotta lube dat shizz, mang!) and a tight, precise seal over the bearings to keep all the gook out will all happen, and then some. Mmmm, gook.
  • 9 2
 Airborne is a subsidiary of Huffy bike company. While that may sound cheesy to most of us, just think about it for a minute. Huffy is a company that has been around for a long long time. Huffy also brings in multi millions of dollars a year. They sell thousands of bikes per year more than Specialized, Canondale, & even Trek. The Huffy bike company is actually a monster in the financial market. What does this mean to the consumer? It means Huffy has unlimited funds for research and development. They also have the ability to offer bikes at a reasonable cost. Especially since they've cut out the moneygrubbing middleman. The Toxin was meant to be a free ride/bike park bike. Not an all out downhill bike. That being the case, the review states it performed well on A-line & other similar trails.
  • 1 0
 @ lestock-kay

I definitely see your point, and like I said, I do like my LBS. My (anecdotal) experience has just been that the LBS is pushed at every opportunity possible, without question about the relevance or what impact it has on the sport, e.g. accessibility to new participants, entrants, or self-education.
  • 6 0
 It seems like this review was more based on the suspension then the frame. I think that this bike would probably preform as well as a 2500-3000 dollar bike if the fork was upgraded suspension and brake wise. I know that airborne sells just the frame, and i would love to see pinkbike build one up, using better components, and then pit it against other value bikes such as the Status and Voltage.
  • 1 0
 Have you seen the budget Airborn build on Vital?
  • 1 1
 I have but that one i would call a failure just because it came out to $4200. I bet pinkbike could do it for closer to $2500
  • 5 0
 Thanks for the review, good to see a bike that wouldn't require me to sell my kidney if I were looking to enter the freeride market. It doesn't look all that bad either and performance is in line with what I'd expect at this pricepoint.
  • 5 0
 Used bikes has been my choice, mainly the frame or suspension which are the expensive parts. But I certainly agreed with airborne on this kind of beginners options. Let's be realistic, the entire bike looks good, and, if you're a MTB newbie, pay less than 2k for a entire new bike with guarantee sounds great. Growing skills in MTB is not related with your bike, it depends how often and committed are into ride fast. All the geek part of the sport, feeling the difference between a RS WC and a RS domain for I.e., comes later, and as many of you mentioned in this post, if you buy used stuff is because you have some time/knowledge to spent on the build, and remember, you'll not have guarantee and other risks of that. How many of you started your first FR/DH ride into a V-10, demo, session 99? Almost nobody for sure, that's logical, we need to learn to carry speed, many crashes, maintenance, rider and environment respect, etc.. So, this airborne bike intention is clear, get a decent cheap good looking new guaranteed bike and forget the rest, start to learn what you can push in terms of riding, bike performance and of course, fun!!
  • 7 0
 I love that!! Quite possibly my next fun rig, will it be available in the uk?
  • 8 0
 Nice price for a good quality looking bike!
  • 3 0
 I agree. I'm happy with mine.
  • 7 0
 It's good to see a company come out with a less expensive bike for park riding..
  • 11 2
 26 aint dead !
  • 3 0
 I built this bike frame up and it is so mint Smile

here are a few videos from my channel showing what I have put it through.

youtu.be/jOyOfF-IwlQ?list=UUZL3db5z2vJQVzRgw9B8QgA

youtu.be/E7NYPjNeh1k?list=UUZL3db5z2vJQVzRgw9B8QgA

youtu.be/GfmNqND2Bs0?list=UUZL3db5z2vJQVzRgw9B8QgA

And if you are interested in the specs of my rig...click here :

www.vitalmtb.com/community/FuzionTheAce,17886/setup,26020?scope=newest&query=airborne+toxin&riding_types%5B%5D=5
  • 2 0
 Cool build dude. That's exactly what these bikes are meant for. Buy it, and you'll actually have some cash to put the parts you want on later. I've been buying "older/lesser" (by the opinion of the masses anyway) bikes and putting on the mint parts I like for years. A build like that is how you can tell someone who loves and knows bikes in and out, from someone who has the cash to buy the hot new item at their LBS or from Chainlove, and won't ever swap out a single part. I like it.
  • 2 0
 I like the stem-cam view in the third video, makes it look like you are riding with no hands.
  • 1 0
 I think it's a bit absurd how some companies offer a frame only option for like 700 bucks less than their own complete builds. Nice build, think it could handle a Dual Crown?
  • 1 0
 @phobospwns, thx man.I just ride what works for me.Because the last time I checked we all aren't millionaires Smile

@Protour, Very weird angle indeed..glad u like the vid Smile

@j-t-g, That was the main reason for this build to show that a great ride and uber fun can be had on a budget...If you do your own research Smile

Bottom line guys is that I am in love with this bike Smile
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g, and about the dual crown.I don't see why not.The fork I am currently running is 180mm a dual crown is 200 Smile
  • 3 0
 "bike doesn't have the high powered brakes and refined suspension that would have allowed me to cruise down this portion of trail with ease."

Oh you guys like trails to be easy??? Razz

Not that I want my equipment to hold me back all the time, but riding basic equipment can be super fun, and forces you to look at the trail differently. I love riding my cyclocross bike on techy singletrack, cuz even though it's way harder the trail looks completely different on that bike. If nothing else, the Airborne is an awesome bike to get out, throw it around, and learn to choose the right lines, and I think it's awesome that PB reviewed it!
  • 1 0
 Underpowered brakes are never fun.
  • 3 0
 I asked Airborne if a Motion Control damper (which costs ~$70 from Rockshox) could be dropped into the Domain R to effectively convert it to a Domain RC, and they said no, but tons of other people seem to think that it is entirely possible, and in fact is a really easy mod.

Who is correct? This bike with motion control damping is a no-brainer purchase
  • 3 0
 It is in fact possible, I've done it and it makes a huge difference. I would re-configure the shims to have the largest shim in the center, with progressively smaller shims as it works out to the ends of the stack. That and make damn sure the oil height is 102mm from the top of the threads. Good setup is key to getting the knob to have a distinct effect from 0-10 clicks.
  • 1 0
 thank you!!
  • 5 0
 Building up one of these from a frame only could be sweet since frames are 900 bucks a pop including axle headset and shock.
  • 5 0
 Doesn't look like a Session.
  • 2 1
 Yeah great these price points are coming out, but a bike with serious travel regardless of how good the suspension quality needs decent brakes to be able to ride terrain saftely.

Aside from that, second hand is the way to go, the quality bikes you can get even after 7-8 months 1 or 2 years is amazing, especially in 26"

Anyone starting out should look at second hand have someone who knows bikes friend etc check it over for worn out link bushings, bearings, drive train, brake lads though easily replaced, suspension look after no gauges in stanchions or too rough on shuttles etc.

Most DH bikes are a steal right now second hand.

Still props for a brand trying to keep costs down def a market, but at this level Zee brakes imo minimum level of std to support the shot that bike could potentially get young groms into.
  • 5 0
 Love the Bike, looks great and the price is awsome, thumbs up to Airborne
  • 3 0
 I love what Airborne is doing. Perhaps YT is another one in this market?

Any chance you guys will have a similar review on the Pathogen?
  • 1 0
 This is a perfect bike for someone like me. Could I maybe find a good deal on something used? Yes. I could also however get a brand new one of these, probably for less. Is it the nicest bike out there? No. Is it a great value for someone like me, who is ready to step off the rental bikes at the resort and would like a no BS bike that just works? Yes.

The suspension and brakes are easily upgraded, probably still for less than that used bike. A novice gravity rider like me won't even warrant replacing them right away, if even at all.

If you want a fully custom build, a $900 frame is a very good value. The sky is the limit after that.

I really love the model Airborne is going with here. I think they could sell even more if they offered a better spec version for $2000 or even $2250 while still keeping this $1750 base model. A few frame color choices would really increase popularity as well.
  • 1 0
 I've had 3 solid years of experience in DH then about 5 years experience in moto. I'm getting back into mountain biking and most likely going to get this bike. First thing I'm changing is the suspension obviously and the brakes but other than that it looks like a solid bike!
  • 1 0
 It looks like a solid way to get pedaling. Id probably opt to buying their frame set. A Boxxer RC, Vivid coil, slightly nicer drive train components etc. In fact, for fun, I did a complete build on a spreadsheer and it came out to about $2500 with a full ZEE drive train, nicer SRAM brakes, and an Azonic wheel set.
  • 5 1
 Im beginning to like this brand
  • 1 0
 Great keep these asking value bikes coming. There was a set of bloody carbon wheels on here the other day for £2000 so it's great to see a nice spec whole bike for less then those. Great to see.
  • 1 0
 'amazing' not 'asking'
  • 2 0
 you can`t expect much more for the money?it`s an introduction to the bike parks on a budget nuff said!!!
  • 3 0
 Good to see more accessible bikes for new riders.
  • 1 2
 Just had a friend buy one online, the LBS put it together and the rear spring rubbed the frame, and there was a crack in the frame at the headtube weld.
Out of the box.
He sent it away and they (airborne, aka huffy) gave him new one. This one was put together by the local LBS and the rear coil spring still rubber the fram, but.....if you turn the rear spring to just the right spot it will not rub.....
if you spend a couple hundred more, you get a bike that will most likely be flawless, and will also have support of the LBS if things were to go awry.

jmho
  • 1 0
 whats the other options if you spend a few more hundred dollars?
  • 1 0
 specialized status would be my bike of choice, it is worth the extra money.
  • 2 0
 What is a similar new bike in the same price range that can handle the steep sections where the airborne was lacking?
  • 2 0
 Please review YT and Canyon bikes!
  • 2 1
 They do... but its not their fault the brands only give them ONE model a year to test.
  • 2 3
 I realize $1800 isn't alot of money for this bike, but what SRAM now offering the type 2 clutch all the way down to the X7 line, I see no reason why a bike in the price range should ever come without a clutch derailleur.
  • 2 1
 If you have a chain guide (which this does), it's not really necessary. Nice to have, but not necessary.
  • 1 1
 No not necessary at all in terms of chain retention, but like you said nice to have. The bike just ride so much nicer without the chain slamming into the chain stays all day.
  • 3 1
 front brake line should be run on the inside of the fork, not the outside
  • 1 3
 I don't know... I had a bike specd like this and it just killed me that a higher end 160mm bike could outperform it easily. IMO the extra 20mm travel it a waste, you are going to crave something lighter and plusher eventually.

I found a Trek Scratch Air 9 ($5000 msrp) for $1700 USD used and it is awesome.
  • 6 0
 I think that used bikes can be better deals, but for people just getting into the sport, it is very easy to get ripped off. I think the toxin seems like a good way to get into the sport without any risk.
  • 2 0
 Very true... I went through 4 bikes that I regretted 6 months after buying before I figured out how to find the real deals. Still though, If you were a beginner to the sport than im not sure a 40lb bike would be best. Unless you live near a bike park of good shuttling. I suppose its all about opinions, but I jumped on a scott voltage FR30 and slowly realized that maneuverability and lightweight trumps suspension "travel".
  • 1 0
 I understand the feeling of buying the wrong bike. I payed 1400 for a 2010 dirtbag. Weighed 45 pounds and had a blown up shock. I'd say that a 40 plunder isn't ideal, but it's a safe way to start
  • 1 0
 Looks like it will eat bush for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!! Hope they include a bag of shock hardware when you buy it.
  • 1 0
 What a great bike for a young Grom or the missus. If they dig it you can always upgrade the suspension and brakes.
  • 1 0
 15k Carbon demo or $800 2002 BigHit Spec

Don't matter.

Go ride your dam bike.
  • 4 2
 Looks like a...
  • 3 1
 Ooooo! I like this game.. An SX trail!
  • 6 2
 airborne toxin Wink
  • 34 0
 Bargain
  • 1 0
 Damn it wrong again!
  • 9 0
 a bike
  • 4 4
 Tr 250
  • 2 3
 Rocky Mountain, Slayer
  • 4 1
 Stormtrooper?
  • 1 4
 Knolly Podium fo sho
  • 1 0
 The Domain finally got alloy stanchions?
  • 3 0
 Nope....
  • 1 0
 Just New surface coating?
That's definitely not the usual chrome plating
  • 1 0
 Yes, steel stanctions with some kind of treatment, from 2013 onwards.
I've got one so I can tell you its freaking heavy...;-)
  • 6 6
 If you get the frame again, how about putting some top level suspension and brakes on it, and see what the frame can handle?
  • 4 0
 They didn't get the frame, they got the complete bike.
  • 3 0
 You can get the frame for $899 with the KageR shock
  • 3 2
 Looks like Tre... Diamondback DB8
  • 4 4
 looks amazing and very good price but the question is:
are they made by slave childrens???
  • 4 1
 nope, full grown slaves Wink
  • 2 1
 Seriously... how do they get the bike to stand up on it's own so well?
  • 2 5
 Hmmm. Think it's about time Airborne stops copying other brands for their own bikes. This is looks like and old rocky and their flag ship dh bike is basically a replica tr 450........I understand not every bike will look completely different because there's only so many designs and then patent infringements, but try harder Airborne.
  • 2 5
 What a shitty "pinkbikes take".
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